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Water information is fundamental to national and local economic well-being, protection of life and property, and effective management of the Nation’s water resources. The USGS works with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and wateruse and availability.
Water is one of seven science mission areas of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Water's mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the Nation's water resources.Read Science Plan
Development of Regional Curves Relating Bankfull-Channel Geometry and Discharge to Drainage Area for Hydrophysiographic Regions in Wyoming
The Watershed Program in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Wyoming Water Science Center developed regional curves that relate bankfull channel dimensions and discharge to drainage area for hydrophysiographic regions in Wyoming where data are currently lacking. Regional curves are useful aids for estimating bankfull discharge and related channel dimensions at ungaged sites,...
Expertise in large river research provides science information to inform decisions on river management and restoration in the Midwest Region. Connectivity is a fundamental concept in river ecology and refers to opportunities for water to flow along and through riverine ecosystems. It is considered one of the primary drivers of river productivity, biological diversity and ecosystem health.
In cooperation with the Wyoming State Engineer, the USGS conducted a study of the water resources of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. This study followed the general plan of previous "County Studies". Surface water and ground water resources were evaluated through a combined approach that analyzed and summarized existing data and, as a consequence of the data analysis, identified key data gaps and...
Streamflow Statistics for Unregulated and Regulated Conditions for Selected Locations on the Yellowstone, Tongue, Powder, and Bighorn Rivers, Montana
Major floods in 1996-1997 on the Yellowstone River intensified public debate over the effects of human activities on the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone River Conservation District Council partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a cumulative-effects study on the Yellowstone. For that study, the USGS calculated streamflow statistics for unregulated (no development) and...
With the ever-increasing rate of utilization of and competition for water (particularly during periods of drought) accurate, current water-use information is of considerable value. This is particularly so in determining future water availability in hydrologically critical areas and for making sound resource-management decisions. For the Oregon Water Science Center, a viable water-use data-...
SPARROW Model Assessments of Nutrients and Suspended Sediment in the Pacific Northwest and California
SPARROW can be used to relate water-quality data to landscape characteristics, such as natural properties and human activities
Proposed new coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon could increase rail traffic through the Northwest and potentially increase unintended release of coal dust to the environment.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for a variety of highly valued ecosystem services, including shorebirds, waterfowl, and a diversity of other wildlife species.
USGS research directly helps local public agencies that are responsible for the design and maintenance of the levees that surround the northern Portland metropolitan area with the goal of protecting life and property in the event of flooding from the Columbia and Willamette Rivers that surround the city.
"Determining water availability in the Upper Klamath Basin has always had a degree of uncertainty as a result of the complex hydrology and geology in the region and limited streamflow data."
Evaluating Spring Vulnerability to Climate Change on BLM Priority Management Areas in Southeastern Oregon
The USGS collects, analyzes, and distributes data on a wide variety of water-related issues and resources. Much of our data is publicly available through the National Water Information System (NWIS), but additional datasets and analytical tools are also available.Access NWISWeb
The USGS investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters. NWIS provides access to real-time and historical water-resources data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Maximum likelihood logistic regression is used to estimate drought probabilities for selected Virginia rivers and streams. Hydrologic drought streamflow probabilities for summer months are provided as functions of streamflows during the previous winter months. This application allows the display and query of these drought streamflow probabilities for Virginia streams.
Models of the Klamath River from Link River to Keno Dam were constructed and calibrated by the U.S. Geological Survey for calendar years 2006-09.
Suspended-sediment concentration data from National Real-Time Water Quality (NRTWQ) website.
The USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Program has two main functions: 1) partner with local communities to assist with the development and validation of flood inundation map libraries; and 2) provide online access to flood inundation maps along with real-time streamflow data, flood forecasts, and potential loss estimates.
Data from an Analysis of Dissolved Organic Matter in the Upper Klamath River, Lost River, and Klamath Straits Drain, Oregon and California, 2013–16
Goldman, J.H., 2017, Data from an analysis of dissolved organic matter in the Upper Klamath River, Lost River, and Klamath Straits Drain, Oregon and California, 2013–16: U.S. Geological Survey data release,...
Downloadable spatial data files for exploration and analysis.
The clickable sites, Water Resources Conditions List, and Data Table at the bottom of the map are all connected. Interacting with any of them will activate pop-ups and display the site in both the Map, List and Table.
This interactive map shows current and cumulative rainfall total for precipitation sites in Virginia. Map provides real-time precipitation radar image to overlay from National Weather Service.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) threaten the reproductive success and long-term survival of sensitive aquatic populations in the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). The project employs a standardized EDC risk assessment framework to link new and ongoing research efforts in individual Parks and in Park Monitoring Networks, in order to provide a service-wide assessment of EDC risk in the NPS.
River and Coastal Forecast Information
Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)
Network wells depicted on the Climate Response Network location map
Note: Color shading in the table below indicates multiple wells that plot as a single point on the state location map above.
Note: BLS = Water Level in Feet Below Land Surface, RVD = Water Level referenced to a vertical datum
Streamflow, water quality, and constituent loads and yields, Scituate Reservoir Drainage Area, Rhode Island, water year 2015
Streamflow and concentrations of sodium and chloride estimated from records of specific conductance were used to calculate loads of sodium and chloride during water year (WY) 2015 (October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015) for tributaries to the Scituate Reservoir, Rhode Island. Streamflow and water-quality data used in the study were collected...Smith, Kirk P.
Comparison of NEXRAD multisensor precipitation estimates to rain gage observations in and near DuPage County, Illinois, 2002–12
In this report, precipitation data from 2002 to 2012 from the hourly gridded Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD)-based Multisensor Precipitation Estimate (MPE) precipitation product are compared to precipitation data from two rain gage networks—an automated tipping bucket network of 25 rain gages operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and 51...Spies, Ryan R.; Over, Thomas M.; Ortel, Terry W.
Analysis of groundwater response to tidal fluctuations, Operable Unit 2, Area 8, Naval Base Kitsap, Keyport, Washington
Operable Unit 2, Area 8, at Naval Base Kitsap, Keyport is the site of a former chrome-plating facility that released metals (primarily chromium and cadmium), chlorinated volatile organic compounds, and petroleum compounds into the local environment. To ensure long-term protectiveness, as stipulated in the Fourth Five-Year Review for the site,...Opatz, Chad C.; Dinicola, Richard S.
Do downscaled general circulation models reliably simulate historical climatic conditions?
The accuracy of statistically downscaled (SD) general circulation model (GCM) simulations of monthly surface climate for historical conditions (1950–2005) was assessed for the conterminous United States (CONUS). The SD monthly precipitation (PPT) and temperature (TAVE) from 95 GCMs from phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (...Bock, Andrew R.; Hay, Lauren E.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Markstrom, Steven L.; Atkinson, R. Dwight
Surface-water quality in the Lycoming Creek watershed, north-central Pennsylvania, August 1–3, 2011
This report presents the methodology and results for a study of surface-water quality of the Lycoming Creek watershed in north-central Pennsylvania during August 1–3, 2011. The study was done in cooperation with the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Samples of stream water were...Risser, Dennis W.; Conlon, Matthew D.
A method to quantify and value floodplain sediment and nutrient retention ecosystem services
Floodplains provide critical ecosystem services to local and downstream communities by retaining floodwaters, sediments, and nutrients. The dynamic nature of floodplains is such that these areas can both accumulate sediment and nutrients through deposition, and export material downstream through erosion. Therefore, estimating floodplain sediment...Hopkins, Kristina G.; Noe, Gregory; Franco, Fabiano; Pindilli, Emily J.; Gordon, Stephanie; Metes, Marina J.; Claggett, Peter; Gellis, Allen; Hupp, Cliff R.; Hogan, Dianna
Preliminary synthesis and assessment of environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed, Arizona
A 3-year study was undertaken to evaluate the suitability of the available modeling tools for characterizing environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed of central Arizona, describe riparian vegetation throughout the watershed, and estimate sediment mobilization in the river. Existing data on fish and macroinvertebrates were analyzed...Paretti, Nicholas; Brasher, Anne M. D.; Pearlstein, Susanna L.; Skow, Dena M.; Gungle, Bruce W.; Garner, Bradley D.
Long-term changes in soil and stream chemistry across an acid deposition gradient in the northeastern United States
Declines in acidic deposition across Europe and North America have led to decreases in surface water acidity and signs of chemical recovery of soils from acidification. To better understand the link between recovery of soils and surface waters, chemical trends in precipitation, soils, and streamwater were investigated in three watersheds...Siemion, Jason; McHale, Michael; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Burns, Douglas A.; Antidormi, Michael
Testing a two-scale focused conservation strategy for reducing phosphorus and sediment loads from agricultural watersheds
This study tested a focused strategy for reducing phosphorus (P) and sediment loads in agricultural streams. The strategy involved selecting small watersheds identified as likely to respond relatively quickly, and then focusing conservation practices on high-contributing fields within those watersheds. Two 5,000 ha (12,360 ac) watersheds in the...Carvin, Rebecca; Good, Laura W.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Diehl, Curt; Songer, Katherine; Meyer, Kimberly J.; Panuska, John C.; Richter, Steve; Whalley, Kyle
Estimates of long-term mean-annual nutrient loads considered for use in SPARROW models of the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States, 2002 base year
Streamflow and nutrient concentration data needed to compute nitrogen and phosphorus loads were compiled from Federal, State, Provincial, and local agency databases and also from selected university databases. The nitrogen and phosphorus loads are necessary inputs to Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) models....Saad, David A.; Benoy, Glenn A.; Robertson, Dale M.
Hydraulic, water-quality, and temperature performance of three types of permeable pavement under high sediment loading conditions
Three permeable pavement surfaces - asphalt (PA), concrete (PC), and interlocking pavers (PIP) - were evaluated side-by-side to measure changes to the infiltrative capacity and water quality of stormwater runoff originating from a conventional asphalt parking lot in Madison, Wisconsin. During the 24-month monitoring period (2014-16), all three...Selbig, William R.; Buer, Nicolas
Groundwater-quality data from the eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer, Jerome and Gooding Counties, south-central Idaho, 2017
Groundwater-quality samples and water-level data were collected from 36 wells in the Jerome/Gooding County area of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer during June 2017. The wells included 30 wells sampled for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment project, plus an additional 6 wells were selected to increase spatial...Skinner, Kenneth D.
Software and related material (data and documentation) are made available by the USGS to be used in the public interest and the advancement of science.
What’s New: A new version of the SPARROW code is being developed in the R programming language. The advantage of R is that it is non-proprietary and does not require a license or software cost. The R – SPARROW code is now being completed and should be available early in CY18. Stay Tuned.
SELDM is a database application where users can easily create and run highway-runoff simulations. SELDM simulates storm flows, concentrations, and loads. SELDM calculates the risk of exceeding water-quality criteria with and without user-defined BMPs. SELDM calculates annual runoff loads and is able to do a simple annual lake-loading analysis.
CE-QUAL-W2 is a water quality and hydrodynamic model in 2D (longitudinal-vertical) for rivers, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs and river basin systems. W2 models basic eutrophication processes such as temperature-nutrient-algae-dissolved oxygen-organic matter and sediment relationships.
GCLAS is a program designed primarily to compute daily and annual loadings of constituents transported in streamflow.
MODFLOW-USG model of groundwater flow in the Wood River Valley aquifer system in Blaine County, Idaho
Model archive for Wood River Valley groundwater-flow model
The R package wrv is for processing the groundwater-flow model of the Wood River Valley (WRV) aquifer system, south-central Idaho. The groundwater-flow model is described in the associated model report and model archive. Included in the package is MODFLOW-USG version 1.3, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) computer code that solves the groundwater-flow equation.
In 1977, the Congress of the United States recognized the need for uniform, current, and reliable information on water use and directed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Water-Use Information Program (NWUIP) to complement the Survey's data on the availability and quality of the Nations water resources.
The USGS Groundwater Age Mixtures and Contaminant Trends Tool can be used to explore the effects of basic aquifer properties and well configurations on groundwater age mixtures in groundwater discharge and on contaminant trends from varying nonpoint-source contaminant input scenarios.
Exploration and Graphics for RivEr Trends (EGRET) is an R-package for the analysis of long-term changes in water quality and streamflow, including the water-quality method Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS).
The USGS produces many types of multimedia products. Use the links below to browse our offerings of photograph galleries, podcasts and sound files, videos, aerial photos, and posters related to water. The USGS Newsroom has a Web page that highlights the main collection of multimedia products.
Floating paper clip made of steel with copper plating. The high surface tension helps the paper clip - with much higher density - float on the water.
The cohesive forces between liquid molecules are responsible for the phenomenon known as surface tension. The molecules at the surface of a glass of water do not have other...
In this second installment of a two part series, The Arizona Water Science Center, in partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, reviews the results of an experiment to verify remote methods that measure flood flows at the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. What makes this experiment unique are the super-critical runoff flumes that precisely measure discharge, which will act as...
Staff from the New Mexico Water Science Center pose next to the "First Gaging Station" sign after hosting a technical tour of the site as part of the 86th annual Western Snow Conference.
Streamside talk about a water managers perspectives on the complexities of the Rio Grande Watershed and the history / need for runoff forecasts for downstream water users. The talk led by Dagmar Llewelly (BOR), Carolyn Donnelly (BOR), Andy Wood (UCAR), and Flaivo Lehner (UCAR) focused on how stream forecasts are developed from snow information and how the forecasts are used to make operational...
Attendees of the 86th Annual Western Snow Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico gather at the first streamgaging station established by the United States Geological Survey in 1889 to learn about USGS streamgaging techniques.
Real-time water-quality, streamflow and water height information for Lake Houston and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed are now available from a new web application from the U.S. Geological Survey, done in cooperation with the City of Houston.
Media and the public are invited to attend a free meeting about South Dakota water issues on Thursday, April 19, in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Bear Lake will house water quality and weather monitoring equipment that will provide near real-time information to the public and water managers beginning in early April and continuing through 2022.
Flooding is the leading cause of Presidential disaster declarations. On average, the water hazard has resulted in more than 80 fatalities and cost the U.S. nearly $8 billion annually.
Data Will Provide a “Snapshot” of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer
Crews from the U.S. Geological Survey have been in the field for weeks measuring flooding in the Midwest and in the Mississippi River watershed, and more recently flooding and storm tides on the Northern Atlantic coast, as higher temperatures, heavy rain, snowmelt and nor’easters affected numerous states.
Instead of requiring costly dredging to remove sediment buildup behind water reservoirs and diversions, sediment from reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin could actually be used as fracking proppant feedstock, also known as frac sand, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.
The reliability of arsenic testing for drinking water in Minnesota depends on how and when well water samples are collected, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey and the Minnesota Department of Health study, which highlights ways to improve the accuracy of arsenic tests for private wells.
A new water-quality monitoring program, established by the U.S. Geological Survey, can provide scientists and managers with the best available data to help evaluate the health of Great Lakes ecosystems and improve water quality for recreation and commercial fishing.
One week ago, on January 23rd at 12:31 a.m. local time, Alaskans were rocked by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake, with an epicenter in the Gulf of Alaska, about 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, and about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.
Salinity loads that originate from groundwater within the Upper Colorado River Basin have decreased from 1986-2011, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.